Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Redefining life to make the search for the origin of life easier?

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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences: 375 (2109) From Suzan Mazur at HuffPost:

Reunited following their collaborative funding of a $3 million investigation to determine how the religious community would respond to the discovery of life in outer space—-NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and John Templeton Foundation, directly and through Templeton-funded entities: Templeton World Charity Foundation and ELSI Origins Network, are principal supporters of a Royal Society year-end publication that seems to want to redefine “life” in order to justify further adventures (space as well as lab).

Titled: “Re-conceptualizing the origins of life,” theme issue 2109 of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A is really all about re-conceptualizing the living state. Manipulating the definition for what “life” is is the easiest way to ensure that you find “life” where you want to find it in the universe (that would include inside synthetic cell labs).

What I’m saying is that by expanding the definition for what life is—-beyond biology—-as active matter, live systems, whatever—as suggested in the Royal Society origins issue—-scientists seem to be embarking on a kind of fantastic voyage, clearly in contrast to what investigators not affiliated with the Royal Society issue have told me in recently published interviews about the days of origins fishing trips being over. More.

Maybe it’s a bit like that guy the cop found crawling around on his hands and knees on Main Street. And the cop, thinking him drunk, asked, “What are you doing?”

The guy said, “I lost a five dollar bill on Maple Street.”

“And you’re looking for it here?”

“Of course. There’s more light here.”

Well, the conference venues will probably be nice and each paper will have its moment in the sun. Here’s the edition of the journal.

Origin of Life Circus Note: Mazur is the author of Origin of Life Circus, an introduction to competing theories of the origin, in the words of the researchers themselves. This includes people like the late Carl Woese, Denis Noble, and James Shapiro.

See also: Steve Benner: Origin of life field beset by shortage of ideas, science by overflow of consensus


Suzan Mazur: NASA, tax dollars, space aliens, and religion… Of course, it’s yet to be determined that most religious people have much invested in the matter one way or the other, relative to their irreligious neighbours.

25 Replies to “Redefining life to make the search for the origin of life easier?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Instead of redefining life to include that which is clearly not alive, so as to apparently keep their funding and materialistic fantasies intact, I suggest they instead look for the source of true life in the one who defeated death.

    Verse and video:

    John 1:4
    In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words “The Lamb” – video

  2. 2

    BA77 @ 1: Fascinating. New 3-D imagining technology really brings the shroud to life.

  3. 3
    Belfast says:

    It figures. Redefine what “nothing” is, is the way around the Big Bang, too.
    When I used to debate at school and Uni I defined the topic to suit my arguments

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Belfast, properly, nothing is no + thing, non-being. Of course, cue the trolls etc who will duly howl that that’s just a definition and it may be fallible so we can ignore and redefine at will. Enter, slinking and slithering, stage left: we redefine “life” to suit our agendas. And why not, ten years back or more we redefined science by media-lynching objectors by getting activist journalists to join the necktie party mob and by getting supposedly distinguished institutions to threaten to discredit the entire education of children because they wouldn’t toe our line. KF

    PS: good to see BA77 about and active in his old stomping grounds.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Truth Will Set You Free @2,,, yes it does,,, here is a video clip I pieced together, on photographic/holographic advances in the past century or so, that you may also appreciate,,

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram – video

    “he saw and believed”
    John 20:8

  6. 6
    polistra says:

    “Making the search for OOL easier” doesn’t seem plausible as a driving force for a big project.

    Royal Society is firmly on Satan’s side. If they’re involved, the redefinition is aimed at a more practical earthly purpose, such as making witch hunts and pogroms easier.

    The definition will move in Peter Singer’s direction. AI will be included because AI is designed and coded by Royal Society thinkers. Serious theists (Christian and Muslim) will be excluded because they are incapable of “rational” thought.

  7. 7
    LocalMinimum says:

    Quote within the article:

    Rather than saying ‘what properties are necessary to define life?’, we should ask ‘what broad and qualitatively different properties do we often see in living things that we don’t yet know how to explain?’

    Careful, folks. They take this seriously enough, they may just catch up to ID.

  8. 8

    BA77 @ 5: Just watched the video. Love it. Ordering the book today. Thanks for sharing the links.

  9. 9
    JSmith says:

    If we assume that life arose naturally, the one thing that we can conclude is that the earliest “life” was very different than what we see today. Expanding what the possibilities could be is only smart thinking. Why put blinders on in your quest for knowledge?

    It might turn out that the earliest “life”was engineered. Maybe the ID researchers could start along those lines. Or maybe the first “life” was engineered to be very similar to what we see today as bacteria. Or maybe all current forms (kinds) were engineered as we see them today and any other variation was just cosmetic. It’s a big tent with room enough for all of the ID researchers to stake out a position and to start conducting research along these lines. Obviously, only one line will be correct, but you won’t know unless you expand your lines of research.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    ASSUME . . . what warrants such?

  11. 11
    ET says:

    And who is doing blind watchmaker research? What evidence justifies teaching blind watchmaker evolution to our children?

  12. 12
    ET says:

    There is a reason why we don’t assume Stonehenge was created naturally even though the stones were.

  13. 13

    A/mats are all for teaching philosophy as science, e.g. blind watchmaker evolution, so long as it is A/MAT philosophy. Every other attempt to link philosophy and science is derided by a/mats as pseudoscience.

    The crazy thing is that they really don’t see the obvious hypocrisy of their ways. They simply don’t see it… and probably never will.

  14. 14
    JSmith says:


    ASSUME . . . what warrants such?

    An ever shrinking list of phenomenon that were previously attributed to the supernatural. That this trend will continue is a warranted assumption.

  15. 15
    asauber says:

    An ever shrinking list of phenomenon that were previously attributed to the supernatural.

    What about ideas like Biological Evolution, that were previously attributed to the natural, which are now obviously the result of Intelligent Design?


  16. 16
    ET says:


    An ever shrinking list of phenomenon that were previously attributed to the supernatural.

    That would depend on who did the attributing. But that is moot as that does not provide positive evidence nor a positive argument for the origin of life. There are still plenty of objects, structures and events that have been rightfully attributed to intelligent agencies.

    That this trend will continue is a warranted assumption.

    Perhaps in your uneducated opinion

  17. 17
    JSmith says:


    What about ideas like Biological Evolution, that were previously attributed to the natural, which are now obviously the result of Intelligent Design?

    All you have to do is demonstrate that ID has a mechanism that better explains existing life than evolution does. I await the deluge of peer-reviewed publications.

  18. 18
    asauber says:

    All you have to do is demonstrate that ID has a mechanism that better explains existing life than evolution does.

    That’s just it. Evolution doesn’t explain anything. Evolution is an unseen, undetectable, imperceptible, imaginary force, that some like to pretend makes improvements out of accidents.


  19. 19
    ET says:


    All you have to do is demonstrate that ID has a mechanism that better explains existing life than evolution does.

    Your equivocation is duly noted. Also evolution is not about the origin of life and evolution by means of blind and mindless processes can only explain disease and deformities. There isn’t anything in peer-review that supports evolution by means of blind and mindless processes so enough with your bluffing already

  20. 20
    JSmith says:


    …Also evolution is not about the origin of life…

    My comment was in response to a question about biological evolution.

  21. 21
    ET says:


    My comment was in response to a question about biological evolution.

    Biological evolution by means of blind and mindless processes does not explain existing life. There isn’t even a methodology to test its claims. And Intelligent Design is NOT anti-evolution

  22. 22
    Belfast says:

    Jack Szostak says he does not think defining life is so urgent when it comes to making it in the lab. He comments in “Attempts to Define Life Do Not Help to Understand the Origin of Life” (Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics): “An inordinate amount of effort has been spent over the decades in futile attempts to define “life” –often and indeed usually biased by the research focus of the person doing the defining.”
    quote from Susan Mazur’s book

  23. 23
    J-Mac says:

    Welcome back BA77!

    I have been fascinated by the Shroud of Turin…

    I have a question regarding that: do you know whether the image imprinted on the Shroud is supposed to be Jesus’ face after his death or after his resurrection?

    How is it established which one it is?

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    Belfast, attempts to come up with a common, cogent generally accepted definition of life have failed. If they actually do succeed in making life in the lab this will actually be an example of intelligent design. Of course, that is not how it will be spun. KF

  25. 25
    kairosfocus says:


    you come across as a few decades past sell-by date, that is how stale the talking point on ever shrinking gaps due to progress of Big-S Science etc is.

    First, the evaluation is driven by ideological impositions and Cliffordian evidentialism. Just see Sagan and Lewontin for examples.

    Next, I should note that the design inference is not to the “supernatural” but on signs to blind chance and/or mechanical necessity vs ART-ifice, i.e. intelligently directed configuration, aka design. Where, specifically the world of life does not at all necessitate an inference to design by a designer beyond the cosmos. Just in case you are believing your own propaganda, as a good little troll should. Ironic isn’t it, there is a projection to ID based on evolutionary materialism hoping to use blind watchmaker evolution to put God out of a job.

    Taking up the other side of ID, there is strong evidence of design of the observed cosmos. That literally points to a super-natural or extra-cosmic designer. Strong enough that lifelong agnostic and Nobel-equivalent prize holder Sir Freed Hoyle was one of the early advocates of this inference. And in fact it is coming back the other way that we see that we have a cosmos set up to make the first four most abundant elements as H, He, O, C with N close by: stars, rest of periodic table, water, organic chem, proteins. In addition the observed cosmos — the only one — is fine tuned to an operating point that supports C-chemistry, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet in circumstellar and galactic habitable zone, cell based life. THAT points to a serious candidate for design of life, the same as designer of cosmos.

    Next, we find ourselves in the cosmos on such a planet as credibly responsible and rationally free, morally governed creatures.

    And now that is the border, we now must go beyond science to worldviews issues — something you like to hold on an ideological unexamined basis like a good little troll.

    You of course find the next issuer so unsettling that you have dismissed it repeatedly with obvious irritation; not so clever, methinks he doth protest too much. We are morally governed, that government is inextricably intertwined with our rational faculties, and we cannot afford to reduce mindedness to delusion. So, we have to conclude moral government is real, beyond mere perceptions and feelings etc.

    The physical facts do not fix all the facts, tut tut.

    So, we see Hume’s guillotine and realise that the IS-OUGHT gap — shudder — has to be bridged at world root level.

    Now things get really challenging for good little trolls.

    You see, the only satisfactory solution has to be something that fuses the is and the ought in itself inseparably.

    Our being under moral government tells us a lot.

    Now there is after centuries of discussion, just one serious candidate: the inherently good and wise creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable, responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature.

    This is phil, so if you doubt this, there is homework for a good little troll . . . provide a cogent alternative that is coherent and factually adequate: _______ . (Prediction, this will not be done, it is a supertask for someone adhering to evolutionary materialism or who is a fellow traveller of such a scheme.)

    So now the God of the gaps talking point needs to be put out to pasture.

    And BTW, you are talking to someone who apart from one of those miracles you despise, would not be here.

    Someone who almost exactly six months ago to the hour, saw his Dad look goodbye, turn to a caregiver and look goodbye then surrender his spirit to his Lord who had come for him, whom he had walked with for decades, then go in seconds.

    Having held on until I could reach him so he could pass the mantle.

    I know what I have experienced and what I have seen, and that there are millions who have collectively a solid body of experience of the living God.

    Your troll-points make very little impression on us, for cause.

    I suggest you do some re-thinking.


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